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Taiwan Tati Cultural and Educational Foundation

Ma refuses to face the truth about Diaoyutais

In the recent dispute between China and Japan over a collision between a Chinese fishing boat and a Japanese vessel off the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台), Japan did the US a favor by covering up its lack of political resolve. However, if we think in more positive terms, the way in which Japan started out strong but eventually caved in to China had some merit because it helped reveal China’s hegemonic nature.

China’s behavior proves that the lives of people in China are worthless to their government — when they exercise their “constitutional rights” they are thrown in jail. Overseas, however, and especially in Japan, the lives of Chinese people do mean something to Beijing, which goes out of its way to protect its citizens, completely disregarding whether they are in the wrong.

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Smoke, Mirrors, a Scam? Are Taiwanese Orphans or Masters of Their House?

People have often asked me my opinion of the Lin-Hartzell argument that Taiwan is still subject to determination by the US Military which was victorious (with its allies) over Japan. It is true that the San Francisco Peace Treaty stipulated that Japan give up Taiwan. Yet in 1952 the San Francisco Treaty did not say to whom Taiwan should be given. This was seven years after World War II, and three years after China's Civil War on the continent ended with the expulsion of Chiang Kai-shek and the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT).

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Chinese security chief’s visit kept secret

A visit to Taiwan by Chinese Vice Minister of Public Security Chen Zhimin (陳智敏) and his delegation earlier this month was shrouded in secrecy and intentionally unpublicized, even as talks were held with senior government officials, an investigation by the Taipei Times showed yesterday.

Chen, who is believed to be the second-highest-ranking Chinese official to visit the nation in the past 12 years in an official capacity, was in Taipei from Sept. 13 through Sept. 18 and met representatives from the Ministry of the Interior, the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), the Coast Guard Administration (CGA) and the Ministry of Justice.

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Chen warns DPP on Taipei election

Former president Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) yesterday warned the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) not to be too optimistic about its prospects in the Taipei mayoral election in November, saying the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) had yet to launch what he expects to be a “mudslinging campaign.”

In comments published in Neo Formosa Weekly, which resumed publication in electronic format in September last year, Chen said it was unfair to say that the DPP’s candidate for Taipei City mayor, Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌), and its candidate for the soon-to-be-renamed Sinbei City, DPP Chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文), were not committed to their campaigns and had set their sights on the next presidential election in 2012.

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Diaoyotais incident a litmus test

During the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese took pride in standing alone against the evils of imperialism, revisionism and anti-revolutionary behavior. Caught up in the moment, I fear they let it go to their heads. There was a song, very popular back then, that went something like this: “The wind is blowing from the east, the war drums are starting to beat, who shall cower should we meet? We do not fear the American imperialists, it is they who fear us!” As to who fears whom now, the current dispute over the Diaoyutai Islands (釣魚台) is a useful litmus test.

There are three actors in this drama: The Japanese government, the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

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Six decades of made-up politics

Aside from the business and geopolitical imperatives that stem from the international community’s desire to interact with the People’s Republic of China (PRC), another reason why Taiwan remains in political isolation is that its history and domestic conditions are misunderstood, not only globally, but also in China and by many of the foreign correspondents who cover Taiwan.

Routine references to Taiwan and China “splitting” after the Chinese civil war, for example, or the mention that Taiwan and China have been ruled separately for “more than six decades,” are not only misleading — they are wrong. Beyond failing to get the facts right (disunited entities cannot split, and Taiwan was ruled separately for at least 11 decades, counting Japanese rule), these facile insertions tend to reinforce the view that Taiwan and China are one and the same — or rather, that one ought to be subsumed into the other.

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Newsflash


China-based Taiwanese businessman Cheng Po-yu, right, has his fingerprints taken while applying for a Chinese residence permit at a police station in Beijing’s Shijingshan District yesterday morning.
Photo: CNA

Beijing’s issuing of residency permit cards for people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau, which came into effect yesterday, is part of a ploy to bring Taiwan into China’s political fold, the Mainland Affairs Council said.